Malaysia will lead the way to form the ASEAN e-sports federation. The proposal to establish the federation was mooted by the National Sports Council (NSC) Director General Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail and it has gained unanimous support from the other ASEAN countries.
The proposal was made during the ongoing Ninth Asean Senior Officials Meeting on Sports (SOMS-9) in Pasay City, Phillipines.
Malaysia would now host the initial meeting for the establishment of the e-sport federation.
While China is the biggest gaming market, e-sports has seen a huge surge in South East Asia, making it the fastest growing market.
E-sports is major draw for the younger generation, especially in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
In Malaysia, the move to introduce e-sports as part of the co-curricular activities in secondary schools has only received mixed response, mainly because of concerns on its side effects.
But, many youngsters are smitten by e-sports just like their peers around the world.
In November, Malaysia would be hosting the first multi-player online battle arena mobile game, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) world championships. Better known as M1, the tournament will take place from 15–17, November at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur.
The Malaysian government has also allocated RM10 million to develop the electronic sporting scene in the country. Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman recently announced the building of a new e-sports stadium.
Malaysia is also sending a national e-sports team to the upcoming 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, which will host competitions for titles such as Tekken 7, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Dota 2.
Malaysia is also sending a national e-sports team to the upcoming 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.
Like Malaysia, the game is also seeing an unprecedented surge in neighbouring countries.
In Singapore, gaming hardware firm Razer pledged S$10 million towards supporting local e-sports teams and as investments in gaming or e-sports companies in Singapore or those founded by Singaporeans. They are also sponsoring the Singapore team to the Manila SEA Games.
E-sports Malaysia (ESM) are the national body for e-sports in the country formed in 2015.
ESM Head of Communications, Mohd Farouk, when contacted by GoSports, said that the idea to form the ASEAN federation has been going on for some time.
“We have been in constant discussion with the relevant authorities on this as it would help promote the game more effectively in the region,” said Farouk.